Valediction For Paul Kwong by Dato’ Bill Davidson
Farewell to the late Paul Kwong, naval officer, lawyer and cricketer
(October, 1957 – 01 October, 2020)
I first met Paul Kwong around 1982 when the Malaysian naval base in Singapore moved up to Lumut in the State of Perak.
At the time, I was president of the Perak Cricket Association, and the Navy had a team which also played in the Ipoh league.
The Navy team was then captained by Com. Karu Selvaratnam, who was already the national captain and also that year became the Perak State Captain.
Unusually the composition of the navy team was headed by a ‘Chinese quartet’. Uniquely the first four batsmen were all of Chinese stock, certainly the only team in Malaysia and I dare say in the world where this could be said. One of their regular openers was Paul Kwong.
Paul Kwong joined the Royal Malaysian Navy in 1977 as a cadet officer and was commissioned in 1979.Afterhaving served 8 years and attaining the rank of Lieutenant (Navy), he took a 4 year sabbatical to read law at Polytechnic of North London (now University of North London) from 1985 to 1988.He was accompanied by his wife Sharon, who stayed by his side in London to earn the money to enable him to carry on and complete his legal studies.
In 1988, Paul Kwong was awarded the degree of Bachelor of Laws with Second Class Honours (1st Division). In 1989, after having passed the English Bar Finals, he was awarded the degree of Utter Barrister, of Lincoln’s Inn. He then returned to the Navy and was appointed prosecutor of the Courts Martial. He opted to retire from the Navy as Lieutenant (Navy) in 1990 and joined our firm in Kuala Lumpur in the same year where he read in my chambers. He was invited to join the partnership in 1994. After undergoing a two-year part-time course at the University of Malaya, he obtained his LLM in 2002 with an emphasis on Admiralty Law, Carriage of Goods by Sea, Marine Insurance and Alternative Dispute Resolution. There he remained for 30 years ending up as a senior litigating partner of the firm specializing in shipping law, corporate litigation, construction and contractual disputes and matrimonial matters.
Paul Kwong was amongst the pioneer batch of Adjudicators trained and certified by the Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre for Arbitration. He handled a number of notable construction cases as a Counsel, which included arbitrations in mixed and commercial development projects, disputes arising from the bridge over river Prai, Seremban flood mitigation project, Jaya Supermarket collapse, KLSE and SKVE highway projects, KLIA road works, in respect of the Sapanggar Submarine Base Project.
On the cricket front, he played regularly always as opening batsman for the Silver State Cricket Club and the Malaysian Bar.
Although Paul was never in contention at National level, he remained a dedicated club cricketer for many years. He also succeeded me as President of the Silver State Cricket Club as the second president. Paul was never known as a bowler.
In the year 2018, Paul was afflicted with pancreatic cancer, which he fought bravely with Sharon at his side until finally succumbing to the disease in October of the year 2020.
During the year 2020, his daughter, Jia Yuin returned from her law studies with a law degree from Cardiff and commenced her pupillage in our firm in 2021. I am informed that during her years of study in Cardiff, she had been selected to play for Wales in the sport of dodge-ball.
Paul was a man of many talents. He was an accomplished musician, singer, dancer and always the life of the party.
Paul was an inspiration to the many lawyers who have come through our doors at Azman Davidson. He was a great mentor, advocate and friend.
(20th October, 2022)